Paralympians to inspire young poets in Lowestoft

Ade Adepitan. Photo credit: Laura Lean/PA Wire

Ade Adepitan. Photo credit: Laura Lean/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Budding young poets are set to pen sports-themed verses based on inspirational visits by Paralympians.

It is all part of a cultural education project designed to boost literacy and raise their aspirations for a brighter future.

Top athletes Ade Adepitan, Danny Crates and Zoe Newson will visit Ormiston Denes and East Point academies in Lowestoft next week to talk a total of 1,200 primary schoolchildren, aged between seven and 11, about their journeys to success.

Award-winning performance poet Joseph Coelho will then challenge the young people to write their own Olympic-themed verse as part of a town-wide poetry competition.

The winner will be unveiled at this year's Lowestoft Summer Festival on Sunday, July 24, with Eduardo dos Santos - Brazilian ambassador to the UK - presenting the awards.

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Alyson Tipping - production and outreach co-ordinator at Suffolk-based arts charity FlipSide, which is organising the scheme with Lowestoft Rising - said: 'We wanted to do more outreach work and started to look at where in our region would really benefit from something like this.'

Building literacy levels and raising aspiration have both been targets for Lowestoft Rising, which wants children to believe they can succeed in a range of careers.

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'I don't think we get many opportunities to meet or hear from people of Olympic standing,' she added.

'To get access to that is a great experience for them.'

Genevieve Christie, executive director for FlipSide, said: 'We're delighted to be welcoming such high profile and inspirational sports people to take part in these events, bringing a little bit of Rio to Lowestoft and showing how learning can be fun.'

Phil Aves, change manager at Lowestoft Rising - which is working to improve the town - said: 'FlipSide has devised an exciting Olympic themed literacy project which will bring inspiring sportsmen and women, an award winning poet and uplifting Brazilian culture to the town's children, promoting aspiration, excellence and joyful learning.'

The project is funded by Arts Council England, Suffolk County Council and Lowestoft Rising with the support of The Norfolk and Norwich Festival Bridge.

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